Be silent, all people, before the Lord” [Zechariah 2:13]

Do you hear what I hear? Listen, just there! Advent is calling me! Advent is calling out to me? Advent, calling out . . . trying to get my attention?

Perhaps the jingle jangle melody of holiday tunes or the ceaseless commercials entreating me to “buy, consume, repeat” obscures the sound. The “holiday” has been swathed in flashing lights and eye catching three-dimensional shiny gift wrap. There are only seven more shopping days and the list of things to do, parties to attend and people to please are endless. Can someone tell me, is this the right road to Christmas?

Do I hear Advent calling me? Yes. Faint at first; nothing more than a whisper. “Be silent, all people, before the Lord.” So, I stop a moment, close my eyes and allow myself to release some of the distractions. I was right, Advent is calling out to me! It’s an invitation to arrive at the manger by the path of thoughtful and purposeful reflection. It’s the road that encourages you to slow down, be silent, and prepare your heart to open and bear witness to the Christ Child. Not simply to be silent before the presence of God on Christmas day, this is a deeper invitation to be in silent preparation before the Lord arrives on Christmas Day.

I imagine this is the quiet road taken by the three Wise Men—people moving with attention and intention under a blanket of stars through the sights, sounds and places that could be a distraction. On this Advent road, even I can see the North Star, and no neon sign outshines it. Oh, I still have distractions, but that’s okay, I’m not perfect. But on the Advent Road, the silence creates a space for me to remember my blessings, ask forgiveness for what I’ve left undone, seek guidance to mend my foolish ways and recognize the beloved community that surrounds me. Hold on, is this the right road to Christmas?

Advent called out to me! Listen, I think Advent’s calling you too!